Hand holding phone with stripe app(l), Wishtender site(r)

rarrarorro/Shutterstock Wishtender (Licensed)

Stripe abruptly drops adult wishlist platform WishTender—leaving creators scrambling

Another fickle move from big tech.

 

Tricia Crimmins

Tech

Posted on Feb 7, 2024   Updated on Feb 8, 2024, 9:31 am CST

WishTender, an online wishlist platform that works with sex workers and other digital creators, announced that it had been dropped by Stripe, a digital payment app.

Now, sex workers are scrambling to withdraw their earnings from the platform.

The move from Stripe is the latest development in a string of restrictions and closings that have made doing sex work online more and more difficult.

In a tweet yesterday, WishTender announced that Stripe will no longer be partnering with it “due to an unexpected policy change,” and advised its users to withdraw their WishTender balance via Stripe as soon as possible.

“We’ve been working through this sudden and surprising change around the clock. It’s been a challenge, but we are facing this head-on,” WishTender’s official account tweeted, adding that the company secured a new financial partner to replace Stripe. “We know how important it is for users to collect payments, and we’re implementing our new solution as fast as possible.”

WishTender allows creators to compile wishlists of items or specific amounts of money that are then sent to creators when purchased by fans. Creators would then withdraw the money they received via Stripe, which could then be sent to their bank account.

As for the “unexpected policy change,” a spokesperson for Stripe said that because it cannot comment about its users, they can’t provide the Daily Dot with any more information regarding the situation with WishTender.

WishTender has made its alliance with sex workers clear, and the industry has been appreciative.

“No one ever listens to the Sex Workers,” a dominatrix who uses the platform tweeted. “Except Wishtender.”

But some sex workers think that Stripe’s recent break with WishTender is punishment for WishTender’s loyalty to the community.

“This is the norm for banking & financial service providers, they are almost university anti-SW/er & punish us & businesses we utilise,” a sex worker named Charlie tweeted. “This is a shitty, though unsurprising, development.”

Both Venmo and Paypal have shut down sex workers’ accounts as a means of complying with sex trafficking restriction laws.

“There is no ‘sex worker friendly’ platform when it comes to banking and financial transactions,” Marla Cruz tweeted. “Be ready to jump ship from any platform at a moment’s notice and don’t keep all your money in one place.”

And that’s exactly what WishTender is now trying to help its users do. Yesterday evening, WishTender uploaded a video answering questions and telling clients how to switch over to the company’s new financial partner (the name of which has not been announced).

“We took a big financial hit because we thought it was more important to get this up and working for users,” WishTender founder Dashielle Bark-Huss says in the video. “We want to make sure there’s a solution for everybody.”

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*First Published: Feb 7, 2024, 4:53 pm CST